Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation

Are you seeing a “Waiting for Activation” iMessage error on your iOS 9 or 10 devices? It’s annoying when iMessage activation doesn’t work and, although a quick search on the net will bring up solutions, many of those don’t work either. We decided to test several iPhones.

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Here’s what we found

Before You Start:

  • Make sure you have the correct time and date on your device – Settings > General > Date & Time > Set Automatically
  • Make sure your internet connection is working properly
  • Make sure your data plan supports international messaging as the activation message may be an international SMS
  • Ensure your phone number is listed in the Phone app. Check-in Contacts>My Number. If it isn’t there, go to Settings>Phone>My Number and input the number change-mobile-number-on-ios- iphone

Let’s get started

Fix iMessage Waiting for Activation Error:

Start with Method 1 and work through until something works for you.

Method 1: Your Carrier

Contact your carrier and make sure iMessage is supported or isn’t blocked or limited on your device

Method 2: Airplane Mode

A simple method but it works for many users:

  • Open Settings>Messages>iMessage and disable it – disable Facetime as well
  • Enable Airplane mode
  • Manually enable Wi-Fi wifi-off-iphone-
  • Re-enable iMessage; input your Apple ID if needed
  • Disable Airplane Mode
  • If you get a message that says “Your Carrier Might Charge You For This SMS” tap OK
  • If you don’t get that message, disable iMessage and then turn it back on
  • Wait; iMessage can take some time to activate
  • When you see your email ID, and a grayed out number becomes active, iMessage has been activated

If this doesn’t work, try the next step

Method 3: Sign Your Apple ID Out

  1. Open Settings > Messages > Send & Receive
  2. Tap your Apple ID and then Sign Out
  3. Turn iMessage off
  4. Wait a while and then turn iMessage back on
  5. Input your Apple ID/Password and try again

Still not working?

Method 4; Reset or Restore

If things still aren’t working properly, first rest your location settings and your iPhone. This will NOT affect your data. Log in using your Apple ID and try again.reset-iphone

Beyond that

A full restore may do the trick

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